Chelsea's Petr Cech may not have been on the field much -- he has started only four Premier League games this season...
Chelsea’s Petr Cech may not have been on the field much — he has started only four Premier League games this season — but manager Jose Mourinho still believes he has made a significant contribution to the cause.
The giant Czech Republic goalkeeper is in his 11th season at Stamford Bridge having played more than 480 times for Chelsea, but for the first time, has had to play second fiddle as an understudy to young Belgium stopper Thibaut Courtois.
Cech, 32, and with many seasons still ahead of him, gave a clear indication last month that he was unwilling to accept the situation for a second campaign but his commitment to Chelsea’s title charge has not been lost on Mourinho.
“Cech is absolutely fantastic,” the Portuguese told reporters after his team restored their seven-point lead at the top of the table with a 1-0 victory at Queens Park Rangers on Sunday.
“His attitude is amazing. Before the game he told the captain (John Terry) to choose a certain end if he won the toss because at 1:30pm it would be better to play in a certain goal because of the sun.
“And he was not playing, he was thinking of Courtois. With this attitude Petr deserves everything.”
Chelsea were a long way short of their best against relegation-threatened Rangers and needed Courtois to pull off several fine saves to keep them in the game before Cesc Fabregas sealed a smash-and-grab victory with a late goal.
“Defensively we were very strong all game including at set-pieces against big guys who are good in the air,” said Mourinho.
“Obviously Courtois was there for us. I told him during the week…after Charlie Adam… we needed him to give us a couple of points with a couple of saves and he did it.”
The Belgian suffered an embarrassing fate eight days earlier when he was lobbed from beyond the halfway line by Scotland midfielder Adam in Chelsea’s 2-1 home win over Stoke City.
Mourinho’s men have seven games left to play, with third-placed Manchester United the visitors to Stamford Bridge on Saturday, and they are now odds-on favourites to add the Premier League trophy to the League Cup they won last month.
Cech’s Wembley appearance in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the final was his last for the club but once the title is sealed, his adoring fans would love nothing more than for Jose Mourinho to grant him one last, fitting farewell at the Bridge.